One of the top questions all diabetics get is “Can you eat that?” Seriously, once you’re diagnosed with diabetes your eating habits become communal knowledge- doesn’t matter if it’s at work, school or at home, everyone wants to know why you’re eating a banana at 10:30 in the morning. No it’s not just because you’re hungry, you must be low! And don’t you dare think about having a cookie, nope no no, not with food police around. Doesn’t matter if the cookie is flaked with gold and rainbows and was delivered by a unicorn specifically for you, diabetics do not and can not even think about a cookie, let alone eat one. This question is also interesting because while the food police have wondered why I’m eating a cookie for give or take a nanosecond, I’ve contemplated if I should eat said cookie and the repercussions of eating it for a good 3-5 minutes and have decided, based on how much I know my body, activity levels, and blood sugar behavior, that I will consume said cookie. So yeah, I think I can eat that.
Nine times out of 10, this is an innocent question asked with good intentions and unfortunately, a little bit of ignorance. Where did this perception of a “diabetic diet” come from and why does everyone think I’m on it? I would like the world to know that yes, I can eat cookies and I will eat cookies when I want, wherever I want. Isn’t it about time we turned it around and said “Hey!! Perceivably healthy person! Why are you eating that cookie?!? Shouldn’t you be eating ALL of the carrots?! WHY AREN’T YOU EATING CARROTS?!”
Allow me to explain a little bit more on why there is no such thing (in my humble opinion) as a diabetic diet:
Listen, deciding what to eat and the implications of eating certain kinds of food are things everyone has to do, not just diabetics. We’re just medically forced to make good choices because of the clearly visible impact food has on our health. We make a good choice and we feel good, but if we make a bad choice we feel terrible for hours. Just because “normal” people can’t see what eating a slice of cake once a week or drinking a frappuccino daily does to their health doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for them to do it, right? Let’s make a deal: if you don’t judge my food choices, I won’t judge yours. Deal? Another part of the deal is that we all get together every once in awhile and eat super-fantastic versions of grandma’s secret cookie recipe, because we all deserve to indulge every once in awhile.